Learn to connect to self and others using NVC Empathy Cards
4.2 (32 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
266 students enrolled

Learn to connect to self and others using NVC Empathy Cards

Increase your emotional intelligence with this guide to the NVC Dance Floor and feelings and needs. (Resources Included)
4.2 (32 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
266 students enrolled
Created by Joel Young
Last updated 8/2019
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • 9 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Use the empathy cards (feelings/needs cards)
  • Understand the mechanics of empathy
  • Be able to differentiate between feelings, needs, thoughts, and demands.
  • Listen to people at a deeper level
  • Understand yourself at a deeper level
  • See the violence hidden in everyday judgements
  • Understand some of the underpinning principles of Nonviolnent Communication.
  • Ideally you will have a set of feelings and needs cards.

Highly recommend. It was really clear and easy to understand. Simple and clear with some light-hearted banter in there also. Heaps of practical examples that can be applied to your day-to-day life. You will be better off for taking this course. Money well spent! 


I was inspired by this topic after attending an NVC (Non-Violent Communication) couples weekend. I learned how quickly you can learn to connect in a meaningful way with your fellow humans, but also how subtly our language includes violence and judgement.

In this course, you will learn about the empathy cards resource as well as the subtleties that make Nonviolent Communication such a powerful way of connecting. This has been a profound, yet simple, way to improve emotional intelligence.

I am a counsellor, husband, and father and this course is absolutely relevant to all these aspects of my life.

After taking this course you will have the skills to better connect with yourself, and also the self-awareness to be able to express yourself without muddying your message with the violence and judgment that are such a natural part of our language.

You will learn how to use the 'feeling and needs' empathy cards and how they fit into the Nonviolent Communication Dance Floor.

You will also Integrate the NVC philosophy with your personal style of helping by watching applied lectures and demonstrations.

Course Outline: Section 1: The Cards and Empathy

Section 2: The Dance Floor

Section 3: Applications

Section 4: Gratitude

I actually think that the best way to learn anything is experience - and for this topic - I think that's especially true. So, take the time to practice the skills being taught, and even better, get along to a local NVC practice group or course and experience the magic for yourself.

Bonus Materials:

  • You will get a copy of the NVC Dance floor to download and print.

  • You will get a copy of common faux feelings and/or feelings that blame.

Who this course is for:
  • Somebody who owns a set of feelings and needs cards
  • Somebody who wants to better understand non violent communication
  • Counsellors
  • Pastors
  • Social Workers
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Managers
  • Anyone wanting the world to be a less violence place
Course content
Expand all 24 lectures 01:02:20
+ Introducing empathy and the cards.
5 lectures 06:58

Thanks for joining my mission to make this world a more peaceful place.

Let's check in right now!

  1. Pause - and listen to yourself.

  2. What need brings you here right now? (Use the cards or the list from the link.)

  3. Post the feeling that brought you here in the discussion :)

You are about to learn to listen in a different way. Both listen to yourself, and others. This course integrates ideas from Echart Tolle, Marshall Rosenberg, David Riddell, Albert Ellis, and from theoretical frames works such as NVC, CBT, and Narrative Therapies. While there are some long words in there, you get this all delivered by me, Joel Young, in a simple, digestible and easy to apply form.

Remember to use the speed up and slow down buttons for the video and pause when needed.

You can also click on the tabs to the right to see lecture notes, downloads, and make notes.


(P.S.) I just got notified that the UDEMY generated captions are pretty average. I've left them turned on because I have had people from the deaf community request them but I can't afford to make them manually. Please forgive me if you find them not very accurate - it's just not something I can prioritise right now. Thank you for your patience.

Preview 00:40

A few quit tips on how to make the most of the 'udemy' learnign platform.

Making the most of 'udemy'.

My version of empathy cards are a list of 64 feelings and 64 needs, and some instruction cards.

They are a spin off of what I experienced at a NVC couples weekend.

I was so struck by the power of communicating at this level that I decided to integrate this into my counselling practice and create a nice resource around it. At some stage I'll look at integrating this into my life also - but that seems a touch more difficult.

Two things make these magic.

1. The list of feelings doesn't include faux feelings/judgements so it the conversation more centred and less accusatory. The needs cards don't include demands which has the same effect.

2. They are cards - not a list. Most people find that slowly flicking through the cards gives them a chance to 'taste' each feeling/need to see if they apply versus looking at a list which engaged a cognitive response and is much less effective and finding out what's really alive in the moment.

What are these empathy cards?

Empathy is felt connection. This can be with self or others.

Empathy is a key skill in leadership, management, and even at times it's been known to be helpful in marriage and in raising children.

Being curious, accepting, vulnerable, and fully human positions you to end up in meaningful conversations much more than being aloof, critical, all knowing, or full of ideas.

Don't listen to their story, listen for what it means to them.

When we merely discuss ideas our minds may meet, but our souls remain strangers.

Be Fully Human

Pain and vulnerability are part of being human, Check in with yourself. Do you avoid strong feelings? Are you hesitant to talk about emotional pain? Are you afraid you will not know the answers? I believe that it is in facing our own pain that we learn how to struggle alongside others. If we allow ourselves to be vulnerable this will come across in all our interactions. If we want people around us to feel comfortable sharing with us, they need to know we are as they are - fully human; completely amazing yet broken, frail yet strong, and deep down longing for connection.

What is empathy?

I am really wanting to make this course more practical and give more opportunities to practice. I am experimenting with different ways of doing this while trying to be respectful of your personal privacy and process.

I'd love you feedback on how I am going with this and for you to have a go and play with some of the exercises I am going to trial over the next while.

Thanks for your patience as we learn together how to practice nonviolent communication.


This is an opportunity to explore your empathy ability and potential. Follow the instructions in the lecture.

Empathy Exercise
+ The NVC Dance Floor and its philosophical underpinnings
6 lectures 22:10

This is an overview of the NVC Dance Floor as well as a printable dance floor.

What is the NVC Dance Floor?

Jackal is the name given to self talk, thoughts, judgements, and interpretations in Non Violent Communication.

There is a time and place for listening to your own 'Jackal' and sharing it with others, but it's important to know what it is so you don't take it too seriously.

The time is when I need cathartic release. The place is with my friends and famly who are safe to not judge me for my uncensored words, or be hurt by my judgements.

Echart Tolle speaks of this and so does Marshall Rosenburg.

This is an important step but is only internal or with a friend you are getting empathy from – not out loud with the person you are trying to connect with. It's where you get to vent all your judgements, interpretations, feelings that blame (misjudged/abandoned etc). Get it out! Then when you are ready, move to one of the other steps.

This is also the place where you can discover that you are telling yourself things that actually make it harder for you to meet your needs. Learning to tell yourself the truth is a very effective way of meeting your needs better.

Preview 05:22

"To observe without interpreting is the highest form of intelligence."

The lecture teaches how, and why this is so important to observe without interpreting.

This step is about the facts. The facts are the part of the story that can't be argued with. It simply gives context for the experience. For yourself this is an opportunity to get in touch with what happened seperate from your judgements/jackel/interpretations.


I notice that there are dishes on the bench. - Good!
I notice that the bench is messy - Not so clear - messy is an interpretation.

Clearing the interpretations out of this step leaves less room for arguments. Interpretations reflect personal values and ideas, and that's what us humans tend to argue about!

The 'cleaner' our language, the more likely it is that we will be heard when expressing ourselves.

“Love is the absence of judgment.” -Dalai Lama XIV

This is about giving a SHORT, FACTUAL, description of what TRIGGERED you to want to connect.

“I noticed you went to the movies and didn't text me.”
“I saw the rubbish wasn't put out this week.”
“I notice we have not had a date for about 2 months.”

Learning how to NOTICE - basic mindfulness.

This lecture explains the feelings stage in the dance floor.

Feelings are a primal body experience. As babies we experience sadness, anger, and joy, but as we develop we enjoy a wider range of emotions and being able to name them and express them is essential to intimacy.

Unfortunately our language has mixed up feelings in two significant ways.

Firstly - We say 'you made me feel' instead of 'I feel' which crosses an important boundary.

Secondly - Often what we express as feelings are actually thoughts, judgments and assessments (Jackal)

Both of these mix ups contribute to violence. How - because saying or implying that 'you made me feel' with words like abandoned, neglected, misjudged, attribute blame to another person.

This step is about taking time to know what I am feeling and say it out loud. Have a good look and see what's really going on. Watch out for 'feelings that blame' or 'interpretations'. They belong in 'Jackal' mode as sharing them will likely trigger defensiveness. If you do feel like Jackalling, then step back into it and go for it J. But keep it internal and use it to help you know yourself.

Differentiating FEELINGS from thoughts, judgments, assumption and assessments.

Needs are our primary drivers - Everything we do is in service of our needs. (Marshall Rosenberg)

We have no business looking to make better life strategies until we are clear about what our needs are! The clearer we are about our needs, then the more likely it is we will be able to meet them.

Unfortunately we don't have a language of needs - our language is full of judgements and demands, so in this lecture you will learn about needs, and how they fit in to the dance floor and why it's important to seperate them from our requests.

This is about what you really want. Take time to really sit with your feelings and discover the need. Not the strategy, but the need. This isn't a demand on anyone, but a need that you have.

It will be unique to you because of your life story. It's not to be ashamed of or to be used as a demand of others. It's something that fills you up and you can ask others to help meet this need.

Preview 06:25

Requests if the final stage of the NVC Dance Floor. In this stage you will see how to bring what you notice, feel and need into a clear, present, do-able request - either for yourself or of another.

This isn't as easy as it sounds but a very important step in the process.

Remember your boundaries when you complete this step.

When I notice...
I feel...
Because of my need for...
I would like you to consider....

Notice that there is not judgement, no feelings that blame and no demands. It's not anybody elses fault you feel a particular way or that your needs are not met. It just is, and as you notice this, you are asking another person to contribute to your life by helping meet your needs.

“I would really like to know what you just heard me say.”

“I would like to go on a date this month – what do you think?”

“I would like to hear what you are feeling and needing at the moment.”

“I would like you to figure out a way to get rid of the rubbish this week so I need not worry about it.”
“I would like you to listen to me for 5 minutes while I get my thoughts out.”

These are requests – not demands. If you are not really asking. Don't ask – go back inside and see why this feels so strong that you cannot make it as a genuine request.

Preview 02:54
Do I understand the Dance Floor?
7 questions
+ Using the Cards
9 lectures 29:47

The most simple use of the cards is to check in with your self - or practice self empathy. You may be surprised at what you find yourself feeling or needing. You will definitely expand your empathic vocabulary and with this new vocab and awareness it's highly likely you will start to better meet your needs day to day.

I highly recommend this practice if you tend to put others needs ahead of your own, or if you are in the helping professions.

I also recommend doing this at the end of a hard week, or the start of a holiday, or stressful period in your life.

This self knowledge will increase your resilitence.

Using the Cards for Self Empathy Check In - Lecture

Let's check in now! What are you feeling or needing right now? Close your eyes and connect with yourself. 

Ok, so you opened your eyes again, now go check the Q& A section and answer the question about your feelings and needs.

What are you feeling and/or needing right now?!

Sometimes it's difficult to imagine what another might be feeling or needing. We can get caught up in the detail of their story, or in our own projections of their situation.

Understanding another's feelings and needs helps us connect with what matters to them.

This can be done in two ways:

Solo - just you and the cards. This is simply guessing human (as Rosenberg would put it) to see what they might be feeling or needing. It's not safe to assume we are right, but it's just a guess that we cna hold lightly and use to check in with them, or just gain empathy to help us be patient with them if they are frustrating us, or if we are looking for help in a forgivness process.

With them - In this case we can use the cards to provide clarity in conversation with them.

Using the cards to gain empathy for another.

I have been asked to add some more practical exercises so this is just a start of what will turn into a database of things that you can use the cards for!

Using the cards for sneaky self empathy...
A quick example of using the Tiger's NVC Kids Cards with my daughter.

Sometimes yucky stuff happens in our lives and our children's life. It pays to debrief from these so here is a little guide to engaging in one of these types of conversations.

If it's a REALLY yucky thing that's happened. I'm talking about trauma here. Then please lean on the support and expertise of an expert. 

This guide is intended for helping your children, friends and self deal with the day to day frustrations of life!

How to debrief yucky stuff with your children or anyone else you care about!

If you are a stranger to yourself you will remain a stranger to others.

Knowing what you are feeling and needing gives you a chance to better care for yourself and then also greater clarity when making a request of anohter to contibute to your life.

This Lecture shows the simple process of using the cards to connect with your feelings and needs.

Using the Cards to 'check in' - Interview Demonstration

This lecture explains my integration of Non Violent Communication with Cognitive Behavioral Theory. (NVC Integration with CBT)

It gives some practical examples and applications in therapy.

Using the cards in a therapeutic or pastoral context.

The good ol problem of 'not enough time'. See what a NVC style interview does with it!

This live counselling session or interview is with me and a friend. It's unscripted and we just go with a topic that he agreed he was comfortable talking about in this context.

Enjoy seeing the different steps of the dance floor and the help of the cards in processing - even though in the end we make one up!

It's not every day you get to sit in on a counselling session like this so enjoy!

Demonstration of using the cards in a therapeutic context.
+ Finishing Up
4 lectures 03:23

This lecture is about expressing gratitude fully.

It follows the same simple steps as the NVC Dance Floor to fully express why you are feeling grateful.

This full expression of gratitude and be immensely motivating for the receiver as it gives them a comprehensive understanding of why their actions meant so much.

When you...
I felt....
Because it meets my need for...

Notice that it still keeps the boundaries clean and doesn't use positive judgement either. It's not - "You made me feel.... because you are so awesome..." etc.

Fully expressing gratitude.

This is a farewell lecture! I thought I had a video one of these - but couldn't find it!

I will make one soon, but for now, you have my words :)

Thanks and Farewell
Bonus! Coupons for my other courses!

I have no formal affiliation with these but I like to connect people! 

At the end of the day, the best way to learn most skills is on the ground! This means spending time with yourself, and others in some deliberate contexts. Here are some to try out.

New Zealand (My Local!)




Facebook Groups:

Beginners:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/NVCbeginners/

Parents and Couples:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/NVCparents/

Advanced:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/onlineNVC/

Links to other resources, courses, practice groups and websites.